How To Talk To Literally Anyone

Based on the famous book by Leil Lowndes

Don’t we all love an impromptu conversation with a stranger at the supermarket, or while waiting in a long queue? Communication is an integral part of an individual’s life and yet is one of the most underrated skill-set that one is in possession of. 

Yes, communication is a skill- one that most of us do not possess. While I was going through this book called ‘How To Talk To Anyone’ by Leil Lowndes, I tried to apply its contents in my everyday life. To my surprise, they were really fun to follow and the advice actually worked, which is why this blog. 

three crumpled yellow papers on green surface surrounded by yellow lined papers
Courtesy: Volodymyr Hryshchenko, Unsplash

Your smile is your biggest asset, use it wisely

One of the ways in which great communicators create a lasting impression is by the judicious use of their smile. Do they actually know when to time their smile or is it some kind of divine intervention? 

As a matter of fact, they do. Timing is of the essence. You don’t want to be constantly smiling as that comes across as being unprofessional and childish. Nor do you want to be flashing a smile immediately when you meet someone. What you should be doing is trying to gauge the emotions of the other person and after a brief pause, bringing out a genuine smile. 

This ensures an instant connection between the individuals, setting the tone for the rest of the conversation. 

Establishing Eye Contact 

Not only does it reflect a trustworthy, knowledgeable, and confident individual, it is key to understanding whether someone is interested- be it an emotional sense between men and women or otherwise. 

If you have trouble maintaining eye contact, try practicing in the mirror by looking at your eyebrows or nose. It is still more effective than to look away and seem distant from the conversation. 

 A word of caution, do not to overplay this. Prolonged eye contact may sometimes come across as intrusive or threatening.

Limit Your Fidgeting, It Is Distracting!

I cannot stress enough as to how important it is not to fidget- whether you are speaking or listening. Not only does it break the speaker’s flow of thought, but it also puts the listener at arm’s length with the being present in the conversation. 

Fidgeting undermines your credibility. A good way to practice not making any hand movements is to speak while looking at yourself in the mirror. If it doesn’t put you off, think about the consequences you may have to end up paying- Nixon found this out the hard way. 

Richard Nixon Vs John Kennedy- 1960 Presidential Elections 

Psychologists and body-language experts claim that the outcome of the presidential elections largely swayed against Nixon when he was seen fidgeting and wiping his sweat, during the presidential debate. 

Employ parroting when stuck

And the conversation goes on.

Modern-day conversations can be compared to a tennis match, they swing one way then another. Let’s assume that it is your turn to take charge of the conversation, but you don’t know what to say. 

Doesn’t this sound very familiar? It happened to me all the time. 

Here’s how you can use the concept of parroting to overcome the momentary silence. 

Try not to panic and engage in the conversation by mimicking the last few words of the conversation in a sympathetic manner. What this does is that it gives you more time to think of an appropriate response while simultaneously shifting the onus of the conversation to your partner. 

To sum up.

  1. Your smile is your biggest asset, use it wisely
  2. Establishing eye contact
  3. Limit your fidgeting
  4. Employ parroting when stuck 

Hope this helps in grooming your conversational skills. Stay tuned for more!


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